Tag Archives: Wading Birds

Startled Wood Stork

I didn’t see this Wood Stork until he took off; he had been tucked up to the edge of the pond right in front of me. He was so close I didn’t get his full wingspan.

Wood Stork Flying Away
Wood Stork Flying Away

He didn’t go far, touching down at the edge of a channel.

Wood Stork Touching Down
Wood Stork Touching Down

He immediately started feeding.

Wood Stork Feeding
Wood Stork Feeding

The spot didn’t seem to satisfy him.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork

Pretty soon he took off for further down the pond.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork

 

Great Egrets Doing Their Thing

A variety of birds were spread along the far side of the pond and many of the Great Egrets were just standing around while American Avocet and American White Pelicans came and went. This pair seemed to be on the lookout for something.

Great Egret Face-off
Great Egret Face-off

One did fly in and join the group. I suspect those posts are the remnants of a duck blind.

Great Egret Coming In
Great Egret Coming In

The Great Egret made the typical graceful landing and the others paid no attention.

Great Egret Coming In
Great Egret Coming In

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC
February 17, 2021

American Avocet

American Avocet aren’t the only birds in these images, but I haven’t seen one in awhile so thought I’d give them top billing. And I really like them with their snazzy color scheme.

American Avocet, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet, American White Pelican, Great Egret

I sure was hoping they would fly closer to my side of the pond.

American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret

Instead they disappeared on the other side of the marsh.

American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret

Snowy Egret, Ashley River

I spotted this Snowy Egret while I was watching the Little Blue Heron Fishing in my last post. That’s the Ashley River at high tide behind him.

Snowy Egret, Ashley River
Snowy Egret, Ashley River

He stayed put basking in the sun as I got a bit closer for a clearer look.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

He obliged me with poses of both sides and I couldn’t decide which I like better. The full shadow of his beak on his chest in the above image is kind of cool, but seeing his full eye as below is always a winner.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

Little Blue Heron Fishing

Back and forth, this Little Blue Heron was working the perimeter of a small pond.

Little Blue Heron Fishing
Little Blue Heron Fishing

We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain the last ten days and water is pushing up and even overflowing many pond edges, giving these birds the shallow water they prefer for hunting.

Little Blue Heron Fishing
Little Blue Heron Fishing

Add that it was a bit warmer and thousands of minnows were zooming around in the water and the Little Blue had a great hunting ground. Even with all that bounty he was slow and methodical, sticking to his process.

Little Blue Heron Fishing
Little Blue Heron Fishing

Success!

Little Blue Heron Fishing
Little Blue Heron Fishing

Tucked in a Hummock

The big pond at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area is dotted with these little islands covered with clumps of marsh grasses. Maybe not quite technically hummocks, as I’m not sure the ground is in a mound or if the grass is just thriving in a clump.

It’s not uncommon to see Black-crowned Night-herons tucked into the grass, but on this cold day they were joined by a Great Egret and a Double-crested Cormorant was bobbing in the water. I couple other Night Herons came and went while I was watching.

Birds Tucked Into the Grass
Birds Tucked Into the Grass

Look closely and those little blurs are Swallows zipping through the air. By 11:30 AM it had warmed up enough for insects to be active at the water surface.

Birds Tucked Into the Grass
Birds Tucked Into the Grass

These Swallows are fast!

Swallows Over Marsh Grass
Swallows Over Marsh Grass

Restless Great Blue Heron

This was the scene under the Spoonbill Tree at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area on a recent cold and windy morning. The Roseate Spoonbills were wisely at the back of the pond, tucked under a bigger tree.

Great Blue Heron, Gallinules, and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron, Gallinules, and Double-crested Cormorants

A few Gallinules were popping in and out view and the Great Blue Heron seemed on the verge of doing something as he repositioned several times.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants

The GBH moved back into the water when a Great Egret appeared. This dead tree, which has been a great perch for a Roseate Spoonbills over the last few years,  has taken another step towards its end as another good size limb has fallen off this winter.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and a Great Egret

I was expecting the Heron to drive off the other birds the way he came back around the front of the island all puffed up.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants

But he decided to ignore whatever was going on behind him at least for the moment, as one lone gull paddled by.

Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Ring-billed Gull
Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Ring-billed Gull

February 4, 2021

Another Stick for the Nest

After the Stuck Stick episode the Great Blue Herons had better luck with the next try.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

Once the Heron turns you can see this is also a long stick.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

The female sees her mate coming…

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

and throws her head back in a hearty welcome.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest – the stuck stick still in place towards the left

February 10, 2021

A Stuck Stick

I arrived at this Great Blue Heron nest just as the male was delivering a long stick for the nest. The female went to work.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

But the stick was wedged in place.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

She thought about it while her mate wisely looked the other way.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

She pulled but that stick did not give.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

GBH have short attention spans: she went back to prodding the sticks already in place and a few moments later he flew off for another bit of nest material.

Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest
Great Blue Heron Pair Working On Nest

February 10, 2021